A purity culture nightmare that sounds all too familiar

I have very mixed feelings when it comes to Evangelica purity culture. On the one hand, I got married as a virgin, and to this day, I believe that was the best choice for me.

On the other hand, purity culture often does as much emotional damage to those it seeks to protect from it, especially women.

Kate tells an all too familiar tale:

The next day I was called in to Dave Hasz’ office and was retold the events from the night before. By the time it got to him, it sounded like I had done a strip tease for the guys and that “oil change” was possibly a euphemism. I explained that I had changed in to some work clothes, in private, behind a locked door and that nothing improper happened. At this point, I thought that all this had to have been a misunderstanding and Dave was going to laugh and say “That’s all?!”

Not so much. He didn’t miss a beat. He leaned forward in his chair and said to me, “What do you think that does to a guy?! To know there is a woman undressing in the very next room!” He then went on the lecture me on how it was my job as a “woman of God” to help keep the men from thinking lustful thoughts (As if I could control someone else’s thought process!).  I pointed out that the girls’ dorm was a floor above the guys’ dorm. If this was his logic, how were they going to handle knowing there were 50 girls upstairs sleeping, showering, changing clothes, etc? This didn’t win me any favors; logic had no place here. Long story short, I left Dave’s office with a list of clothes I could and couldn’t wear (v-neck could potentially show cleavage, causing my brothers to fall, everything should be lose fitting, not too much leg, etc.), what kind of make up (no dark eyeliner!) and nail polish I should and shouldn’t wear (only red, pink or clear no blue or black…), and was assigned to dish duty for a week.

Did you grow up in this culture? If so, how has it impacted you or those close to you?

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